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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

WoT If…Immortality Exists?


Mashiara Sedai

Hello, and welcome back to "WoT If?".  For this week's discussion, I want to look at the idea of immortality and how it might pertain to dark prophecy we've seen.  Please remember:

 

SPOILER WARNING.  This will include content from A Memory of Light.  Please DO NOT read this if you have not completed the book.

 

This topic came up in the "After the Last Battle" panel at JordanCon.  I'm not sure who posed this question, but I want to give credit where credit is due—it wasn't me.  The person speculated that Rand might be immortal after his battle with the Dark One, and this hypothesis comes from the dark prophecy in the dungeons of Fal Dara.

 

Before we jump into the prophecy, though, I want to show that dark prophecy is just as true as light prophecy.  It's been asked of Brandon Sanderson in an interview posted on Theoryland's Interview Database.

 

 

Ty Margheim:  Are the prophecies competing a la The Belgariad (by David Eddings), or are they complementary?

 

Brandon Sanderson:  Not competing like The Belgariad, and certainly not intelligent like in The Belgariad. … Some may be interpreted wrong, others may be recorded wrong, but there is not a this/that nature to them.

 

Footnote

The questioner is probably referring to the dark/light prophecies, as this makes the best comparison for Eddings. Brandon is saying that they will all be fulfilled, whether dark or light. (The Seanchan prophecies are another matter altogether, and Brandon was hinting at this in his last tweet; there is good reason to believe that the Seanchan prophecies have been corrupted.)

 

Though it's in the footnotes, I'll agree that all prophecies will be fulfilled is what Brandon is actually saying.  That means all the dark prophecies are just as relevant for finding clues about what will happen during and after the Last Battle.

 

Now, onto the prophecy:

 

 

The Great Hunt

Chapter 7, "Blood Calls Blood"

 

The man who channels stands alone.
He gives his friends for sacrifice.
Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal.
Which will he choose? Which will he choose?

What hand shelters? What hand slays?

 

This is such an easy thing to overlook.  Notice that Rand (the man who channels) has two roads.  One to death, one to life.  At the end of the series, Rand lives.  He avoided the path that lead to death beyond dying (which would have happened if he had given in to the Shadow); does that mean Rand has life eternal now?

 

There are a few directions this can go.  If we say yes, Rand is now immortal, it raises the possibility of other people being immortal.  I think this would be a great way to explain what and who Nakomi is.  Robert Jordan didn't want to go into the possibility of there being a female Dragon—a soul that is equal yet opposite to Rand.  But if it did happen, and a female Dragon in Ages past was able to seal the Dark One in the same manner, she could still be alive today, helping nudge the Pattern and the current Dragon to do what must be done.  And she could coach Rand through the body-swap that she completed before (if time is a circle and all things come again).

 

There's also the fact that after the Last Battle, Rand's will is law.  He is able to light the pipe by thought.  Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that he could will himself to live as long as he wanted.

 

However, the body-swap also throws a wrench into the gears because Rand's body does die.  And perhaps Moridin, in Rand's body, does complete the "death beyond dying" part.  Since Moridin is connected to the Dark One, would the Dark One still be able to collect Moridin's soul even though he is resealed?  If the Dark One had Moridin's soul sealed in with him (as well as all the other Forsaken once they die), I'm sure he would make them suffer horribly.  The phrase "death beyond dying" would surely fit.

 

Each of the Forsaken has a link—perhaps even a bond—to the Dark One.  A Tor Q&A says, "In exchange for their oaths in Shayol Ghul, the Forsaken receive a mark from the Dark One.  This mark is visible only to certain Shadowspawn and it gives the Forsaken some measure of control over them."  Because of this strong bond, one that might surpass the seals, I think it's quite possible the Dark One will collect the souls of the Forsaken, and maybe others—like the Black Ajah, since even Verin says, "The process of making those oaths to the Great Lord was... distinctive" (The Gathering Storm, Chapter 39, "A Visit from Verin Sedai").

 

So, does Moridin's death in Rand's body count as death beyond dying, or is Rand destined to be immortal?  Of the two options, I think the former would be more in line with the world and its limits.  I think it much more likely the Dark One can access his bonded souls rather than having a person—or even a deity in human form—that's immortal.  But this would be an interesting question for Team Jordan.

 

That's all for this week.  Let me know what you think.  For next time, we'll speculate what exactly Artur Hawkwing said to Tuon at the end of A Memory of Light.  Thanks for reading!




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Well, i guess you could interpret: "one to life eternal" as a life into the wheel, since the soul is reborn, the soul never dies.

 

So, from one side you have oblivion, on the other you have the life on the wheel. I don't think immortality stands as we consider it in the WoT. Even the Forsaken "immortality" is simply being reborn but in different bodies.

 

At least that's how i perceive it, imho.

 

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I just read through this part on my second read through of the series and i had a very different take on the prophecy. When i read the "one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal" part i looked at it from a darkfriend point of view. Remeber this is a darkfreind prophecy. Maybe a dark friend would see " death beyond dying" as the choice Rand actually made. Sealing away the dark one again. By doing this they would see Rand as doomed to continuosly be born and die over and over again fighting the Dark one and thus, Death beyond dying. Life eternal to a darkfriend might be the other choice with the Dark One succeding. They think the world will be remade in his image and be his in death forever, thus life eternal.

 

I could be TOTALLY wrong of course, but that what i got from it anyway.

 

 

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Personally I believe that prophecy is talking about the Wheel itself living on or not.

 

The man who channels stands alone.

- Rand was alone with the Dark One outside time manipulating the pattern.

 

He gives his friends for sacrifice.

- Rand learns to just "let go", and accept that people are going to die.

 

Two roads before him, one to death beyond dying, one to life eternal.

- Breaking the Wheel of Time, or letting the Wheel keep going for eternity.

 

Which will he choose? Which will he choose?

What hand shelters? What hand slays?

- On the one hand, he sheltered the Wheel and the Dark One.

- On the other hand, he could have killed the Dark One easily at that point and Turned the whole world to the Light, pretty much trashing the idea of "all things come again as the Wheel turns".

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Agree with Zetta, but I think there's more to it. I think it's a dual prophecy. It is a prophecy that talks both about Rand and about the Wheel. Don't forget that their destinies are bonded quite strongly. Rand is one with the land after all.

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if i remember correctly after rand and asmodean fight in rhuidean rand slices asmodeans connection to the DO and rand also sees the black cord when he fights Ishmael in eye of the world, the black cord is what kept the male forsaken from going insane after the backlash in the AOL, but in book four in rhuidean lanfear seems contemptious of the male forsaken for bonding themselves to the DO to stay sane, i could be wrong but i think that i the connection to the DO. as for Nakomi. i have thought alot about her showing up when she did, she first appears in the waste when aviendha is going to rhuidean for the second time, she brings up alot that makes aviendha question wha the future holds for the aiel, then in rhuidean aviendha goes through the clomuns twice, he second time showing the potential downfall of the aiel, but would aviendha have gone back for seconds if Nakomi hadnt met her in the moddle of the waste and made her think of the future, which i also wonder at Nakomi finding aveindha when very few new she would be going to the waste for he trip throught the columns. so we know Nakomi was in the waste at the end of TOM and yet, at the end of AMOLshe is there when rand exits the pit of doom, HOW? aviendha could sense that Nakomi couldnt channel and i assume all the aiel channelers were already at the last battle (except the shaido dogs) so how did Nakomi show up at the pit of doom exactly as Rand was making his exit? NAKOMI IS THE CREATOR!!!!! just as the DO used shaidar haran as a sort of husk to walk about and influence events, i think the creator used a human body as his shell to influence certain events like aviendha's second trip through the columns and speaking to rand at the end of his fight with the DO. when aviendha asks bair about Nakomi  e doesnt know oone but that the name sounds ancient, maybe Nakomi is the creators true name(just a wild guess there)

 

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